The Monticello VFW Riders have always given back to the community.
In any way they can, they’ve raised funds and have been open to anyone who will reach out and present a need.
Since 1968 the Monticello VFW Dorchester Post 8731 has been assisting veterans and citizens in the area.
This time around that need happens to be the Monticello baseball team.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, the Riders presented the team’s head coach, Cole Diebele, with a check of $10,000.
The baseball team has been revamping its stadium for a while now, and with the help of the VFW, they can put the finishing touches on it.
The VFW has donated to countless other local businesses and organizations this year.
Rider Mike Ackerman listed a few: The Monticello Senior Center, the Monticello Fire Department, the Big Lake K-9 unit, homeless veterans, Monticello hockey, and Monticello baseball.
So far this year the VFW has given $3,400 to those in need in Monticello.
“All the money comes from our charitable gambling,” Mark Gilgen said. “Right now we’re number two in the state. We do really well and we give it all back to the community.”
On the Monticello VFW website, there’s a link to request donations. They’ll meet with anyone, and no donation is too big or too small.
“We go through our donation requests at our meetings and then we decide where our money will go,” Ackerman said. “We usually take care of the donations with the most urgency first.”
They also take care of each other. It’s like a family. Ackerman can attest to it.
“I’m currently battling cancer and they just awarded me a large sum of money to help out with my medical bills,” Ackerman said. “They’ve been so helpful.”
Ackerman did say that first and foremost veterans are always at the top of their list for needs. That’s the top priority, but they love to help out in the community in any way.
Just recently they’ve started giving away scholarships to students who are graduating and going off to college.
“We give away four scholarships every month of $500,” Ackerman said.
“The only thing they have to do to receive the donation is prove that they’re in school,” Gilgen said.
We get a lot of requests, but we give four a month and then whoever we didn’t take care of just rolls over to the next month. And it just keeps going.”
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